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Which trail Cam?

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Which trail Cam?

Postby vushtrri » Thu Jun 18, 2015 5:15 am

Any suggestions for a good bulk standard one that does the job? Looking at the state of lower parts of our wood a lot seems to be going on when we are not there!
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Re: Which trail Cam?

Postby boxerman » Thu Jun 18, 2015 9:19 pm

That's not an easy question to answer...

One or two here seem to have been happy with their relatively cheap Swann cameras but, I think, the majority seem to swear by the Little Acorn 5210 (cheapest version of the better machines). I did start with a Ltl Acorn 5210 but it had a major fault and was eating a full set of batteries in one night - I was a long way from being impressed with either photo or video quality and finally ended up with two (don't ask) Ltl Acorn 6210's which produce 12MP stills and HD video - they were an improvement but I've found night time stills are pretty much a waste of time unless the subject is standing still and posing. Video isn't too bad but the infra red lighting leaves a lot to be desired. I've just bitten the bullet on a Bushnell Trophy HD Aggressor which is this years latest model - it does have some advantages but they do come at a cost (£240 of them)...... Haven't yet uded the Bushnell in earnest tho and am still testing it out in the garden.

I think that what will work for you depend massively on the usage that you're buying it for - I'm probably using mine in a way that they aren't designed for in that I'm trying to get good stills and video while studying various wildlife but they are really designed for overall and general viewing of basics where detail isn't that important.

From what I've seen all of these cams have serious limitations with the main ones being a very narrow field of view, not good infra red lighting and slow shutter speeds. The standard Ltl Acorns have 52 degrees of view and lighting that covers even less. For the lighting to be right they need to be at exactly the right distance - much the same goes for the others.

Off the top of my head:

Ltl Acorn 5210: 52 degrees field of view, 22 infra red LED's. 8 MP stills. Video works reasonably but isn't HD. There are two settings for lighting but it doesn't actually it simply alters shutter speed so close ups have massive amounts of glare and further away anything not directly in line with the lighting is hard to see. .8 second trigger speed. Can take both video and stills but NOT at the same time (stills first then video so any moving target is out of the frame by the time the video records).

Ltl Acorn 6210: 52 degrees field of view, 32 infra red lights. 12MP stills. Video works reasonably well and is HD. The rest is much the same.

Bushnell Trophy HD Aggressor: 50 degrees field of view, 48 infra red LED's. 14MP sills and video is HD. Video appears to work reasonably but not had a proper work out yet. Lighting has three setting which reduce the number of working LED's. Takes both stills and video simultaneously. .2 second trigger time.

I've had some fair results at the badger sett with the Acorn 6210's but only by using additional infra red lighting.

Ltl Acorn 5310: one of their latest and cheapest models - most details as per the 5210 but with more lighting and is available with 100 degrees field of view - suspect this would distort images a little but probably a great improvement for an overall view.

Here's a short test vid with the Bushnell https://youtu.be/b-vQ2_QGNAM Badgers vids from the 6210's you find in this forum
Phil

https://twitter.com/boxermanphil for my Badger videos
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Re: Which trail Cam?

Postby Wendelspanswick » Fri Jun 19, 2015 8:12 am

I was in Maplins and I saw the Swann cameras are on offer at £79.99 at the moment, I have no idea of the quality though.
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Re: Which trail Cam?

Postby smudge » Sat Jun 20, 2015 5:11 pm

lidls have a camera on sale Monday for £69.99p any good ?
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Re: Which trail Cam?

Postby vushtrri » Sat Jun 20, 2015 7:41 pm

Thanks Smudge,...apparently they are the same that are on in Aldi on Monday so will give on of them a try.
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Re: Which trail Cam?

Postby The Barrowers » Fri Jun 26, 2015 7:47 pm

Just got 1 from Lidl. Its still in box. Will try it soon as Bushnells screen is black and I cant tell settings and its about to go in the bin
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Re: Which trail Cam?

Postby boxerman » Fri Jun 26, 2015 10:16 pm

I bought one from Lidl just for the hell of it - figured you can't go too far wrong at that price.

So far I've only used in the back garden on hedgehog watch and it's not a great test of it's overall usability 'cos there's a fair bit light pollution here.

First impressions: similar to the Acorn 5210 but with more LED's and HD video. Plastic feels extremely cheap and brittle and I ended up with a battleship grey one which would stick out like a sore thumb in a wood. Controls are identical to the 5210 but on mine they were a little flaky when setting up and buttons occasionally would do other than they were supposed to - got there in the end but had to backtrack a few times 'cos it had adjusted the wrong thing... Appears to be made in Germany. Comes complete with a full set of 8 AA batteries, 4GB SD card and a wall mount. At face value it looks a good deal depending on usage.

I originally figured that the 44 LED's would be way too bright for anything other than distance work as there's no way to turn them down but practical usage in the garden, as above, indicates that there's little difference to the Acorn 6210 and a very narrow, focussed beam. As with the 6210 any night stills are a waste of time because of shutter speed but if you're using video too it doesn't matter 'cos it doesn't take both at the same time - stills first, then video and that combined with a 1 second trigger speed would mean that any moving target is long gone so it's really only practical to use video (exactly the same as the Acorn).

I currently have a stable of 2 Ltl Acorn 6210's, a Bushnell Aggressor (the latest model) and this Lidl one. Can't do a fair like for like comparison as both the Lidl one and the Bushnell are new buys and have only been tested on hedgehog watch in my garden with a fair amount of light pollution whereas the Acorns have been on badger watch in the real world where there is virtually no light pollution. The Acorns have been on badger watch and in the open for the best part of 9 months 24/7 with zero real problem tho they do need additional lighting to make them usable (for my purpose). From what I've seen of the Lidl one, it appears to have comparable performance but I can't comment on long term endurance. Again, not yet used in the real world, I would say that my preference so far is the Bushnell Aggressor - lighting appears greatly improved and can be reduced in three stages by turning off LED's and video shows that it clearly dims itself according to need which the others show little sign of.

I guess it's a question of 'you get what you pay for'. My feeling is that the Lidl one would be fine for general usage and, at that price it's a steal. Look at it this way, in round figures, £70 for Lidl, £140 for the Acorn 6210 and £240 for the Bushnell......
Phil

https://twitter.com/boxermanphil for my Badger videos
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